Innovative Program Aims to Transform Young Men’s Lives in Western Massachusetts
Boston (November 10, 2014) – The Massachusetts Alliance on Teen Pregnancy is 1 of only 8 organizations nationwide to receive a prestigious 3-year grant from the federal Office of Minority Health. The grant is for $1.3 million over three years, and is part of the federal government’s Youth Empowerment II program.
The funding signals the beginning of the Young Men Matter, Too! (YM2) project, a partnership to support adolescent males in Springfield and Holyoke using Wyman’s Teen Outreach Program® (TOP®). The YM2 project vision is that young men in Springfield and Holyoke, Massachusetts will have increased support, education, and skills to protect their sexual health and achieve their academic goals. TOP® is an evidence-based youth development program that has shown impact in keeping youth connected to school while encouraging them to make their own best decisions.”
Four organizations in Holyoke and Springfield will implement TOP® and create a coordinated network of support for young men across the community. Partners include the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Holyoke, YMCA of Greater Springfield, Lee B. Revels Scholarship and Mentoring Foundation of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, and the Springfield Renaissance School.
“We’re excited to work with these great organizations over the next three years. With the new YM2 project, more young men in Springfield and Holyoke will receive the sexual health information, skill building, and resources they need,” said Brenda Madura, executive director of the Massachusetts Alliance on Teen Pregnancy (the Alliance).
“Too often in the past, teen pregnancy efforts have left out young men. We applaud our partner agencies who are dedicated to serving young men’s sexual health, academic, and parenting needs and are excited to embark on this new journey,” said Madura.
“YM2 is an important first step for our organization in supporting young men and we can’t wait to get started,” Madura said.
The Massachusetts Alliance on Teen Pregnancy is the only organization in Massachusetts dedicated to ensuring that state policies and local programs effectively address the complex issues associated with teen pregnancy. The Alliance advocates statewide and mobilizes communities to prevent teen pregnancy, to increase opportunities for youth and young parents, and to empower young people to make healthy decisions about relationships, sex, parenting, and life.